Weekly re-creation

Published 5:23 am Thursday, May 19, 2016

Years ago, I heard an observation about us as an American culture: “We worship our work, we work at our play and we play at our worship.”

The presenter went on to talk about the deep identity people have with their job and the classic question people ask each other socially, “So, what do you do?”

The presenter went on to remark on how fixated we get with our work, the time we devote to it, and often the extra-hours it claims of our lives. We worship our work.

The observer then addressed the rise of a fitness culture. People tend to “work out” rather than “play,” doggedly counting miles or reps and monitoring heart-rate or blood pressure. We have become an organized-sport culture with near full-time work weeks devoted by coaches, players, and parents, often year-round. We work at our play.

Finally, the speaker noted our haphazard involvement in weekly worship. Even 25 years ago we were scatter-shot in our attendance. Since then it has been in steady decline (even among those claiming to be regular attendees). 

Sometimes as a child at dinner, I would push the vegetables around and was told I should not “play with my food.” Admittedly, it was avoidance, or something else on the plate was more enticing.

But there is a reason Christian disciples begin the week in worship together; it is putting first things first. 

In the opening lines of the movie “The Blindside,” actress Sandra Bullock says, “the first check you write is for the mortgage, but the second is for the insurance.” 

What would happen if we treated our mortgage and insurance the way we treat our weekly worship?  We play at our worship.

Hebrews 10:24-25 names the need: “Let us consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds. Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another. …” 

The Ten Commandments direct us to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. In part we honor God with our presence and praise together. In part we are reminded, re-formed and re-created to be the people God calls us to be in the week ahead. 

Throughout our faith history, God has renewed and revived people through routine worship together. 

Join with one of our area congregations this Sunday in weekly worship and be refreshed!

REV. MICHAEL KENDALL is lead pastor of Farmville United Methodist Church. His email address is mkendall@farmvilleumc.org.